Sunday, September 9, 2018

The hottest and most important political race in town (and least covered) is over at the Kern High School District, a special surprise birthday at Wool Growers restaurant and lamenting the loss of a local reporter

Monday, September 10, 2018

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your news tips to

 * ... HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT: What is the most important political race this year that has largely gone uncovered? It is all happening at the Kern High School District, yes the same district
that has been embroiled in controversy (and accompanying lawsuits) for years. These are the five KHSD trustees who have a large say in the education offered to our children, and yet races for two trustee seats have gone largely unnoticed (more on that later). This year incumbent Mike Williams, a staunch conservative who seems to enjoy the spotlight that controversy brings, is being challenged by retired educator Cynthia Brakeman. The open seat, being vacated by Philip Peters, will pit mortgage company officer Bryan Colebrook and Jennifer Pitcher, a young (also conservative) newcomer who has worked with the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government and the Western States Petroleum Association. Why is all this important? The election of Jennifer Pitcher would give the Republican moderates on the board (along with Brian Batey and Jeff Flores) a clear majority while a Williams and Colebrook victory would swing the board on a more staunchly conservative course. (file photos of the candidates)

 * ... HAROLD PIERCE: If you ever doubted what the loss of your local newspaper could mean for those of us interested in good government, just look no farther than the lack of coverage in The Californian of the Kern High School District elections. Longtime education reporter Harold Pierce left four months ago and without him, the Californian has slipped in its coverage of local education. Granted, the paper is in a tough industry and is understaffed, but love it or hate it, we would be remiss in not acknowledging the role that local papers play in covering their communities.

* ... WOOL GROWERS: Congratulations to Catherine Haupt who was the subject of a surprise party at Woolgrowers this weekend to recognize her 90th birthday. Catherine's five boys - Brian, John, Greg, Bruce and Steve - along with about 60 other grand children and great grand children filled the back room at Woolgrowers for a meal fit for royalty: steak and chicken, scampi, French onion soup, salad, green beans, pickled tongue and the eatery's famous cottage cheese.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When a dude does something about his wrinkles, that’s brotox."

* ... TRAFFIC: You know you live in a small town when you take great joy in seeing the new lanes at Truxtun and Oak striped and ready to open. The widening project has been going on for months and it is close to its completion. Now, on to the Centennial Corridor and all those bridges that need to be built over Stockdale Highway, California and Truxtun.

 * ... MEMORIES: How many of you remember the rides out at Hart Park back in the day?

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